Speaker Opportunity – Invasive Plants in Southern Illinois

The River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is a newlyformed partnership of state and federal agencies, organizations, and universities aimed at managing invasive plants in Southern Illinois. Part of our mission is public education about invasive plant species.

Invasive species are a serious threat to all of the natural environments of Southern Illinois and the problem is only getting worse. Invasive species crowd out our native species, reduce wildlife habitat, decrease growth of our trees, and alter important ecosystem functions. Some of the worst invaders in Southern Illinois are Autumn olive, garlic mustard, Amur honeysuckle, curly pondweed, and Oriental bittersweet, along with many others.

I am available to give a talk about the CWMA or invasive plants to anyone throughout Southern Illinois. Meetings can be formal or informal and indoors or as part of a field day. Groups can be small or large, young or old, general or professional. Presentations on invasive species can be from very general to focused on a specific topic. All natural habitat types, from dry forest to aquatic, can be covered. The major topics involved with invasive species are generally:

  • Why invasive species were introduced and how they spread
  • What type of damage do they do to the environment and economy
  • How to identify the major invasive species in Southern Illinois
  • New species to watch out for
  • How you can manage or control these invasive species
  • How to develop a management plan that addresses invasive species

Usually with an invasive species talk, I like to include information about the CWMA, including how we are working together to manage invasive plants, some of the projects we have underway and how the audience can get involved. I welcome discussion and questions about any topic.

Please contact me if you want to know more about invasive species, the CWMA, or potential presentations. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, let me know and we’ll set something up.


Karla Gage
8588 Route 148
Marion, IL 62959